Motorola Offers Next-Gen Mass Transit Smart Card

LONDON (01/31/2000) - Motorola Inc. today announced that it has launched its new mass-transit smart card, the M-Smart Mercury MM4000L, complete with Data Encryption Standard (DES) security technology.

The smart card performs at faster speeds than smart cards currently on the market and has a built-in DES engine for increased security, Motorola said in a statement. The transaction rate for the M-Smart Mercury is under 100 milliseconds per transaction and includes a three-pass mutual authentication process that uses the DES security processor, Motorola said.

As part of Motorola's new line of new smart cards, the M-Smart Mercury works with a total of eight memory configurations, including the Motorola standard Application Programming Interface (API) and existing M-Smart compatible readers, Motorola said.

Furthermore, the smart card is compatible with the ISO (International Standards Organization) 14443B standard, as well as with Java version 2.1 compatible smart cards and a Visa Open Platform version 2.0, Motorola said.

Motorola will demonstrate its next-generation smart card this week at an international transit industry conference in Bologna, Italy, the Union Internationale des Transport Public conference (UITP), the company said.

In some countries, such as the U.K., smart cards are just now starting to catch on for use in mass-transit systems. Trials for a mass-transit prepaid smart card are under way in Manchester, England. The joint venture company, U.K.

Prepayment Cards Ltd. (PCL) is supplying the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA) with smart cards for the project.

According to PCL estimates, 1.8 million people will be using the mass-transit smart cards by the end of 2000. Manchester buses will begin using the smart card technology on a widespread basis beginning in the spring, PCL said. [See "Trio to Establish U.K. Transport Smartcard Venture," Sept. 23.]Motorola, based in Schaumburg, Illinois, can be contacted at +1-847-576-5000 or at

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